Foreword by Jocelle Koh
Playlist Notes by Night Keepers 守夜人
Following the cult success of their song “I can’t sleep 我睡不著’, Taiwanese indie band Night Keepers 守夜人 are continuing to keep the darkness at bay with their soothing yet evolved sound on their latest song titled ‘Still Awake’. Inspired initially to create a chatbot who interacts with insomniacs in the wee hours of the morning in 2017, the responses from these online discussions in turn inspired the band to not only produce music that soothed the soul in the way only they can, but also to weave the stories and experiences shared into their works.
Given the band’s adeptness at soothing listeners’ night anxieties, having listened and replied to over 20,000 messages through their chatbot system, we thought them the perfect band to partner up with to create us a playlist meant just for insomniacs to take their minds off things.
From quietly whispered melodies to comforting words, take a trip with Night Keepers as they traverse the conscious and unconscious worlds with an almost meditative selection of songs that encourages listeners to acknowledge their environment, their worries and the process of insomnia in all its flaws and glory.
Track 01: Richard 理查 – Ups and Downs 凹與山
When it becomes the middle of the night, everything quiets down and ones’ internal logic becomes chaotic and noisy, but when we listen to this song it’s like being lightly soothed and comforted. No matter how starkly we view ourselves at night, we don’t feel so lonely.
Track 02: Human – Dodie
In the world that Dodie has created, we can let loose stably in the rhythms. ‘We’re just human’ is my favourite line of the lyrics, when I talk to myself at night, I need this song to accompany me.
Track 03: Girl in Red – Dead girl in the pool
Closing my eyes and yet I’m still awake, why not get out of bed and turn on a song? Put those earphones on and begin your own party, letting out that directionless energy and emotions.
Track 04: Should 應該 – Naiwen Yang 楊乃文
I’ve always believed that not regretting any of my decisions has made me who I am today, but every time I lose sleep and listen to this song, all the ‘should haves’ that are sung about in the lyrics, every different decision…this is what makes me truly face my inner self. In fact, I have discovered there are many moments where I truly wish to go back and make a different choice.
Track 05: Plein de bisous – Lewis Of Man feat. Milena Leblanc
Although I don’t understand French in the least, but I like this electronic musician, this sort of music doesn’t really need any explanation. In the nighttime, grab yourself a relaxing drink, put this song on repeat and experience the pleasure of not wanting to go to sleep ~~
Track 06: Bluebird – Beach House
There was a point in time where I would often go to the riverside park near my house to walk at night, and would always have this song or the entire album on repeat. The song brings with it a very deep sense of loneliness. This, together with scenes of an empty park, scenery, stars and the accompaniment of the streetlamps, it gives me a strong urge to want to escape the sunrise.
Track 07: 1979 – The Smashing Pumpkins
「Cool kids never have the time」 is a line in the lyrics. We recommend this song to everyone who is kidnapped and pushed around by time, so that you can find that brave and fearless heart. If I still remember why I decided to take higher vocational education, told my parents I plan to rent a place by myself, and chose to act to protect my friends, this song allows us to understand rebellion but also digest it. In finding that initial rebellious spirit and not caring about what others think, you’ll sleep better that way.
Track 08: What Next 接下來要去哪 – Frandé法蘭黛樂團
When losing sleep, the thought that comes to mind the most is, where to next? Will that place have the people I love and those who love me? Will it allow me to have faith and feel like I belong? When this song asks those questions, I feel like there is someone who hears the questions I am unable to speak out loud.
Track 09: #StillAwake ＃還是睡不著 – 守夜人Night Keepers
In a year full of change, Night Keepers continue to be the tree hole for many insomniac web friends, listening to all their pain and anxieties before bed. We understand that we don’t necessarily need the world to tell us we need to live better than before, or be a perfect listener. In this new single we found an undefinable partner, in the song we can play the part of a listener or an adviser, accompanying like minded souls whose positivity has been swallowed by the world, and who are unable to admit they are unhappy.
In terms of music style, Night Keepers chose to combined Brit rock and Chill Pop’s melancholy and joyousness. For production we worked with producer Tsai Yu-Liang and arranger Liu Chia-Kai to bring a mix of musical strength to those who are unable to sleep. To express our hurt and our happiness, both can be saved simultaneously, you are not strange, it is just that you have to constantly shift the balance with which you face the force and frequency the world brings you.
Track 10: Svefn-g-englar – Sigur Rós
A song that’s very suitable for starting your bedtime routine, you can release yourself into an unfettered world and sink into it, allowing dreams to lead every tense heart. This song also appeared in the film Vanilla Skies, and is a cult favourite song for dreaming.
Track 11: Cast Away 拋 – Misi Ke 柯泯薰
Band leader Night entrusts this song with good friend Misi Ke who needs the bravery to let go of everything, understanding that all obstacles just need a trusted person to shout ‘go!’. Under the tutelage of producer Chung Wei-Yu, both of them thought back to the versions of themselves stuck in dreamscapes. Because there were too many worries, they continued to be trapped in this dreamscape. “Using another artist’s purest heart” they found a reasonable reason, and completed this creation to shed their restrictions and pessimism. It’s a song that will allow you to have the strength to face tomorrow before sleeping.
Track 12: Tree 樹子 – Young David 青春大衛
Flow and warm melancholy intertwine in the melody, we understand the reason behind every kind of insomnia, mostly it comes from the pain and struggle of not being understand. But at just the right pace, this song is best suited for replaying over and over; with each replay one realises that being lonely is not something just you are experiencing.